Professional collaboration allows best practice to be identified and shared across classrooms. Effective collaboration explicitly aims to improve teacher practices and student outcomes.

Schools where there is a shared responsibility for students’ literacy and numeracy development across the curriculum support their students to achieve the HSC minimum standard as part of everyday practice.

The Observations across learning areas feature in PLAN2 supports collaboration across faculties by displaying observations of students’ literacy and numeracy skills recorded in subject areas or groups other than a teacher’s own class.

Teachers can view School Discoveries that demonstrate collaborative approaches such as the use of teacher teams to support the HSC minimum standard at St Marys Senior High School (staff only) and Ingleburn High School (staff only). A collaborative approach across a community of 4 schools is showcased in the Hawkesbury schools (staff only).

School Discovery: St Marys Senior High School


New South Wales high schools are using several tools and strategies to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills. These will support students’ preparation for the HSC minimum standard online tests.

St Marys Senior High School has 900 students in Years 11 and 12, and has a leading and learning team dedicated to the HSC minimum standard. This team consists of staff from each key learning area.

They use Google Classroom to support test administration, and communicate with students and staff about the HSC minimum standard.

As part of the team, an additional part-time Learning and Support Teacher facilitates the test administration, monitors student progress and works with teachers to develop literacy and numeracy resources targeted to student needs.

A shared Google Drive folder is used to communicate identified student literacy and numeracy needs with teachers, along with appropriate teaching activities to support their students.

Targeted activities are also available for students to access through Google Classroom and complete as they need.

Progress is logged into the shared Google Drive folder, so all class teachers can see which resource has been used, by which student. The teaching team use this feedback along with a range of data to help decide when a student is ready to sit the tests.

Students are informed of their test schedule through Google Classroom, ensuring an inclusive approach.

In this way, student well-being is considered as test administration and results are private and not obvious to other students.

This is a very personalised approach to the administration of the HSC minimum standard tests.

It also gives students ownership for their own learning and progress.

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School Discovery: Ingleburn High School


NSW high schools are using several tools and strategies to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills. These will support students’ preparation for the HSC minimum standard online tests.

Ingleburn High School has developed a whole school focus on professional learning for teachers working closely with the learning and support teacher.

Adjusting the curriculum has enabled more students to work with the learning and support teacher and introduced processes for feedback to KLA staff on students’ strengths and areas for growth.

They have introduced a third elective for Stage 5 mixing Year 9 and Year 10 students, in a high-interest elective of their choice.

All Year 10 students are withdrawn from this elective for 6 to 7 weeks to complete a skills development program called catch-up for learning.

This program is designed by the learning support team who have identified the skills to be taught in this withdrawal program.

Using evidence provided by class teachers and a range of data sources.

The catch-up lessons are delivered by the learning and support teacher who provides feedback of student progress to all teachers.

By involving all Year 10 students, there is no stigma attached to leaving a classroom.

The learning and support teacher delivers advice on adjusting assessments and is a teacher mentor or expert in the teaching of literacy and numeracy.

They model strategies through team teaching.

They demonstrate how to use both classroom observations and work samples to look for evidence of where-to-next in literacy and numeracy skill development.

Students HSC minimum standard test results provide further information for the school to plan quality professional learning in the teaching of literacy and numeracy.

This is planned 12 months in advance. The learning and support teacher is a key resource in supporting this whole school responsibility for student achievement.

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School Discovery: Community of Schools


New South Wales high schools are using several tools and strategies to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills. These will support students’ preparation for the HSC minimum standard online tests.

The Colo, Hawkesbury, Richmond, and Windsor high schools have a project coordinator to work across the 4 schools.

This role involves analysis of all HSC minimum standard data, coordination of the tests, development of a student support strategy, and communication with the community.

Before any testing starts, the project coordinator communicates at length with the students about strategies for success in particular about removing any blocks that may hinder their performance.

Data analysis has identified 2 blocks in literacy and numeracy.

The literacy block is often choosing a topic they know little about.

The numeracy block relates to the attitude of “I’m not good at maths”.

The project coordinator visits each school separately as an expert at removing the blocks.

Students complete a practice test and are rewarded by the project coordinator for persistence.

The project coordinator ensures the practice tests are a learning tool rather than a contributor to test fatigue.

In numeracy students complete a practice test in pairs with a doer and an observer, then they reverse roles.

Any difficult numeracy words are added to a glossary that is shared across the four schools.

Maths teachers teach the language of the glossary before the tests are administered.

With literacy, the project coordinator has a planning checklist which introduces the importance of putting ideas on paper and expanding these.

Students are shown how important it is to choose a topic that they can write about at length.

All staff are benefiting and learning from to remove the block strategy.

The glossary and planning checklists are being used across faculties and teachers are adjusting programs to support students to meet the standard.

The role of the project coordinator will become a part-time role as resources are developed.

Teachers are aware of the adjustments required in their teaching, and school coordinators have put in place sustainable processes to suit their individual schools.

This model is “Elegant in its simplicity” according to the principal of Colo high school.

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The Teacher resources (staff only) webpage includes materials, such as, translated documents, to support collaboration and communication with families about the HSC minimum standard.

Statewide staffrooms in literacy, numeracy and EAL/D enable teachers to learn about and share practice on how they have supported students to achieve the HSC minimum standard.

The School Support Contacts (staff only) page allows teachers to search for a school to find contact information for non-school based staff. Additional support can also be found in the Literacy and numeracy support (staff only) section of the department's Service navigator.

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